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Monday, June 7, 2010

La Mitad del Mundo

The Middle of the World - On The Equator in Ecuador
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Usually when I travel, I avoid touristy stuff. My motive for traveling, especially in a Spanish-speaking country, is to immerse myself in the cultures while developing my Spanish. But La Mitad del Mundo, a famous tourist attraction in Ecuador, was irresistible. For more than I year, I wanted to get my picture taken with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other foot in the southern.

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There are a lot of souvenir shops where I bought alpaca knit sweaters, t-shirts, and the panama hat that I'm wearing, which costs $22.00 (worth more than $150.00 in the states).

It was December 2009 when I finally made the trip as planned. I paid $80 (USD) for a luxury bus, Ormeño from Lima, Perú where I was spending the first part of my vacation; I got off in Ecuador's southern city of Guayaquil, then flew to Quito, the nation's capital for $105.00 (USD).

Gloria, a friend I met through a Facebook friend in Germany met me in downtown Quito and we took a 40-minute bus ride to the equator--La Mitad del Mundo (the Middle of the World). Because the equator runs right through the Andes Mountains, the weather was windy and chilly enough for a long-sleeve shirt. In fact, the wind blew my newly purchased panama right off my head.

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Standing on the equator with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern.

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This was myfirst time seeing live llamas. They did not let me get too close to them.

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There was also a cultural museum where I took photos of this Afro-Ecuadorean exhibit.